Customer success and support is an essential part of the overall user experience of a product. In this post, Rob Armstrong explains how product and customer teams can work together to create an effective product strategy.
As a Customer Success and Support leader, I am highly passionate about building customer support that is critical to the product value proposition. This is because it is one of the richest sets of customer interactions, each of which is a brand impression that can build relationships and differentiate a product in the marketplace. For product managers, product support should be a key stakeholder relationship.
I was looking for a good real world example with my office mates- they are great listeners to bounce ideas off, really high maintenance. dandy is our standard poodle and oliver We have a 9 month old miniature poodle puppy. If you’re a pet parent, you know they need a lot- more than just food- beds, toys, treats, leashes, collars, shampoo…. you get the point. There is an entire industry that supports their ecosystem, and outside of local pet stores, Chewy is our domestic supplier above Bark, Amazon, Wayfair, and Petco. Why?
In addition to nearly every dog parent we know recommending them, they have “the thing” (aka the brand promise) To be the most trusted and convenient destination for pet parents Together as happy customers Our first priority, We liked it good enough to try them, and we’ve become loyal to them because of their customer service. In fact Great, For example, when Beau was a puppy, I ordered more puppy gates than I needed. “No problem, we’ll refund the cost and instead of returning them, please consider donating them to a local shelter” (Wow, well played).
We can shop many places for the same things, but what really sets them apart for us is their customer service – it’s a natural extension of their brand promise. In fact, Chevy made Forbes’ latest list Customer Experience All-Stars, which ranks the 300 brands that actual consumers said they view most positively for the company’s products, services and treatment of customers. Clearly our experience as customers is something they consistently deliver on.
But this is not an article about Chevy. there is an article about How customer support can enhance a brand’s value proposition and increase customer retention (or churn) in very real ways,
as of 1983 (some time ago, but timeless as a theme), milind lele And Uday Karmakar spoke in a harvard business review article Regarding product support as a marketable attribute, and today, where technology, SaaS and many products are quickly commoditized, customer service and support can make a big impact with consumers in terms of product differentiation.
A product management approach to customer support that builds positive relationships and trust with customers (aka loyalty and retention)
Product managers are increasingly eager to articulate product objectives as they relate to customer needs, and today more than ever, we customers are intentional about the brands we interact with. We’re buying into a brand’s reputation in the form of a product or service (for us, nothing but the best for our pups!), and when a brand follows through on its promises, customers become loyal. If a brand breaks its promises, it erodes our trust and possibly the relationship, something vital to churn and retention in the SaaS and eCommerce space.
So here’s the magic: Support is a rich opportunity to deliver on promises and strengthen customer relationships every day, week and month. The Chewie didn’t have to hold back the impulses of my over-purchased puppy nest, but the fact that they did demonstrated a great deal of convenience and a touch of their brand promise. similarly, but athenahealth customer careWe worked tirelessly to make our customer support more proactive and responsive with less friction to fulfill our brand vision Innovative Health Care Technology and Services Together better results.
and consider that support is often Highest volume of customer interactions (ever) with a product After the purchase, each of which are brand impressions—brand relationships—opportunities. Whether your company has 100, 1,000, or 100,000 support interactions a month, and if they’re self-help, chat, online, or other channels, each interaction serves as a way to strengthen (or undermine) your product value proposition and customer experience. The opportunity lies in how (and how well) they are fielded, handled and addressed.
With this, new data capabilities are changing the KPI landscape in a big way—reactive metrics that are rapidly evolving into real-time measures. AI and data connectivity solutions that can connect and collate large data warehouses across functions, providing in-line capture of every interaction with prospects, customers, and employees, connect it, and contextualize it at any endpoint, use it to produce actionable information.
Support as a feature that differentiates your product requires deliberate investment
If you build support into the product strategy and execute it well, it can become a valuable differentiating feature. But good and effective customer support doesn’t just happen. It is the result of a well thought out business strategy, highly dynamic operational capabilities and organizational leadership that recruits, empowers, engages and develops teams along with customer-facing tools and technologies in a cost-effective mix to deliver the expected customer experience. Could
Each of these are deep topics that I will touch on in future articles, because when they align and work well together, they create enormous brand and customer chemistry. Chevy’s frictionless “not a problem” premise is possible because they started with it as a strategy, invested in the tools, processes and capabilities to drive it, and managed their organization to deliver it consistently.
Is your customer support part of a product strategy and delivering on the brand promise across all your customer touchpoints? There may be valuable relationship and retention opportunities to uncover.
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